You Say You Wanna Resolution . . .

Well, you know, we all want to change careers

So you wanna be . . . a bartender

If you're 19, have quick hands and can translate "twhoi mrhoij sheeots" into "two more shots, please," bartending might be for you. Starting as a server in a restaurant that has a bar is a logical first step -- put in enough face time and you could be promoted to a behind-the-bar star. But unless you're a quick study, Tom Cruise, you might want to consider bartending school. ABC Bartending School ( and Bartending Academy ( offer courses in drink mixology, customer service and bar management, in addition to help finding a job. During 40 course hours, you'll learn everything from bartending manners (ladies first) to peacekeeping strategies (how to signal the bouncer from behind the bar when things get rowdy). Tips can pile high depending where you work, but there are downsides to pouring everybody else's drink: If you're good, especially, kiss your own weekends out goodbye. -- Ashlea Deahl


So you wanna be . . . a florist

If your tedious cubicle job cries for color, maybe it's time to stop and smell the roses -- then rearrange them and add a sprig of baby's-breath. Becoming a florist can be simple, depending on what you want. To start out slow and simple, look for openings at local flower shops or grocery stores. For a more lucrative line, tap into event planning; offer to do floral design for a friend's small wedding or a company gathering to build your portfolio. A degree in interior design or business also would help, says event planner Patti Barna. If it's the business side of sunflowers you dig, Barna recommends going into it with full gusto. "Start your own shop," says Barna, who left her life as a loan officer to work in floral design. "Get a small place, hire one topnotch designer, and hit the concrete running." -- Ashlea Deahl

So you wanna be . . . an electrician

When the electrical wiring in your house short-circuits from the thousands of Christmas lights you put up to outdo the Joneses, you might get stuck paying hundreds of dollars for repairs. Next year, you can fix your circuits yourself (and the Joneses' circuits, too). Of all the learn-at-home-certification jobs available, electrician is among the most lucrative. The average salary for an electrician is roughly $65,000 a year, and the hours are flexible. Thomson Education Direct is one of many trade schools that offer a career diploma program for electricians that can be completed in a year through distance-learning. You'll take "instruction module" classes that teach you everything from circuit analysis and how to read electrical blueprints to generator theories and wiring. Once you have your diploma, you can start applying for jobs with electrical companies, seek an apprenticeship, or work as an independent contractor. Visit for more information. -- Niki D'Andrea

So you wanna be . . . an animal paramedic

Like EMTs for humans, EAMTs (emergency animal medical technicians) are dispatched to dozens of animal-in-distress calls daily. They dive in Dumpsters to rescue dogs, administer IVs to injured cats, and retrieve family pets from forest fires. Started by the Arizona Humane Society ( in September 2002, the animal ambulance service rescues more than 6,500 sick or injured animals each year. No veterinary license or degree is necessary; anyone can go through the Humane Society's volunteer program and request to assist the EAMTs by going on ride-alongs or helping with paperwork. To officially become an EAMT, however, you must get certified through the Humane Society's training program, which offers 116 hours of life-saving medical treatment for animals in the field. The full-time job won't feed a family -- think teacher's salary or less -- but there are several perks involved, like a sweet blue uniform and holster. Oh, and there's that whole rescuing defenseless animals thing. -- Ashlea Deahl

So you wanna be . . . an exotic dancer

Wanna shake your booty for big bucks? First, you have to get a license -- it's the law. At least, that's the case in the metro PHX cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Glendale. (Tempe, Chandler and Mesa don't require 'em.) In Phoenix, you can expect to pay about $150 in application and license fees. That's a lotta lap dances. License in hand, call up a club and ask to audition. Mandi Ray, a Playtime cover model who dances at Bourbon Street Circus in Phoenix, also recommends the following: Purchase health insurance for yourself, learn how to dance ("It's not 'dancing' like you would dance in a club"), and above all, look good. "You make your money off your looks, so the better you look, the more money you'll make," says Ray. Also, expect to shell out some more cash for stage clothes your first year (outfits can cost anywhere from $50 to $350). The return? Anywhere from $100 to $400 a night, depending on where you dance and what shift you work. -- Niki D'Andrea

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help
Phoenix Concert Tickets